Albany South End gang busted

by Robert Gavin (Times Union)
October 30, 2009


In a long-awaited takedown of one of Albany’s most notorious street gangs, 25 members and blankociates of the South End-based Original Gangsta ki*lahs were charged Thursday with a vicious crime spree of drug dealing, robbery and gang violence dating back to 2000.

Federal prosecutors in Albany say the gang — known commonly as OGK — not only protected its “downtown” turf from rivals with bullets, but brazenly posted not-so-subtle messages on the Internet through compact discs, video-tapes and DVDs.

Gang members even allegedly produced a rap video like their fierce “uptown” rivals, the Jungle Junkies street gang, whose leadership was toppled in a similar racketeering case in 2006.

Having successfully prosecuted that case, federal authorities are hoping for similar success against OGK,

They allege at least 14 shooting incidents, four robberies and a stabbing across Albany in a period spanning from May 2001 to March 2009. The alleged drug dealing, which included marijuana, crack cocaine and heroin, dated back a year earlier.

“I think the citizens of Albany can rest a lot easier knowing that they’re a lot safer in their neighborhoods,” James Burns, the blankistant special agent-in-charge of the Drug Enforcement Agency in Albany, told reporters inside the James T. Foley U.S. Courthouse.

Fourteen defendants were rounded up starting at 6 a.m. in raids involving 10 law enforcement agencies. Another remained a fugitive, said blankistant U.S. Attorney Rick Hartunian, chief of the office’s Organized Crime Task Force. He said investigators recovered crack cocaine, .22 caliber ammunition and gang-related clothing, CDs and DVDs during the raids.

The indictment said OGK, formerly known as the “Black Gangstas,” has also called itself the “Original Gambino ki*lahs.” The probe had dated back more than two years, authorities said

Authorities identified 23 of the defendants as OGK gang members. Most hailed from Albany, but 23-year-old Owen Furthman was listed as living on quiet Barker Street in Colonie. Elijah “Sleezy” Cancer, 23, meanwhile, was listed as living in a dorm at the state University at Oneonta. Also on the list was one woman, Michele Knickerbocker, 43, of Albany.

Many of the defendants have been shot over the years and have strong ties to Albany’s turf war between “downtown” and the “uptown” gangs.

Two of the defendants, for instance, are Nahmel “Kidco” Stratton, 27, and Nakeem “Little Bay” Stratton, 24, both incarcerated. The latter has been identified as the older brother of the “uptown’s” Nahjaliek McCall, who was convicted of murdering “downtown’s” 15-year-old Shahied Oliver at an Arbor Hill birthday party in August 2007.

Another defendant, Marcel “Juxx” Perry, 22, was previously shot in a case in which Oliver was accused of felony blankault.

Many of the defendants had past law entanglements. Ten were already incarcerated overall.

“Let me tell you, there were some familiar names that were arrested here this morning,” Albany County Sheriff James Campbell said at the news conference, which drew the presence of Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and top police officials. “We know them in the criminal justice system. And some of these people — are bad people. Now in addition to narcotics off the streets, they’re off the streets.”

The defendants included: the incarcerated Terrence “T-Black” Anthony, 29; ; Mundhir “Major” Connor, 29, also known as “Montana,” of Morris Street; Wister “Wist Daddy” Farmer, 24, of the Ida Yarbrough Apartments; Eric “E-Nasty” Foster, 30, of North Swan Street; Justin “J-Black” Gaddy, 22, of North Swan Street; Ladawn “Nash” Harris, 26, incarcerated; Anairian “AK” Kittle, of Fourth Avenue; Kwon “ki*lahh” Lillard, 21, of Lark Street; Jomeek “Streets” McNeal, 22, known also as “Meek Meek,” incarcerated; Winfield “Champ” Nicholson, 19, of Elberon Place; Alfonso “Fat Fat” Parker, 25, incarcerated; Marcel “Juxx” Perry, 22, also known as “Jooks,” incarcerated; Kenyan “KP” Poole, 29, of Plum Street, Albany; Dushawn “Sixx” Pough, 24, incarcerated; Derrick “D-Black” Ruffin, 29, incarcerated; Elijah “E” Sims, 24, also known as “E-Head,” of Franklin Street; Nahmel “Kidco” Stratton, 27, incarcerated; Nakeem “Bayshon” Stratton, 24, incarcerated; Dyjuan “DY” Tatro, 23, incarcerated; Kanan “D-Black” Tatro, 22, incarcerated and Charles “Bula” Thompson, 23, of Delaware Avenue. The only defendant not in custody was Kolby “Holly G” Martin, 25, also known as “HG.”

While the gang maintained control over a specific geographic territory in the South End, crew members traveled out of state to obtain guns, U.S. Attorney Andrew Baxter said. Charges of racketeering and drug conspiracy carry sentences that range from 10 and 20 years to life in prison, said Baxter.

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2 Comments for “Albany South End gang busted”

  1. diemere

    yo free my downtown guys. Its crazy how slezze was turning his life around going to college and sh*%. The justice system didnt aknowlegd that he was trying to turn his life around i think he deserves a second chance.

  2. […] Albany South End gang busted by Robert Gavin (Times Union) October 30, 2009 In a… […]

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